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Somalia hosts first regional African summit since 1991

Somalia hosts first regional African summit since 1991Heads of state from the Horn of Africa are scheduled on Tuesday to meet in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu for the 53rd Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) summit.

Somalia hosts regional summit for the first time since 1991, when the country was hit by the war.

The leaders of the member states of the IGAD Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Uganda, gathered for talks on peace and development. They were due to discuss Somalia's upcoming vote for a new parliament and president, as well the situation in South Sudan.

"It is the first time Somalia hosts such a high-level summit in 30 years. We see it as a historic signal and message to the world that Somalia is coming back," Somalia's Foreign Affairs Minister Abdusalam Omer Hadliye told the media ahead of the summit.

Various researchers and human rights activists based in Somalia and abroad also describe the meeting as historic. They believe that the capital Mogadishu is ready and able to host this kind of event.

Others feel that Somalia is returning as a political actor in the region, having markedly improved security ever since the current federal government took over in 2012.
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